The Philippe Coutinho saga could have taken its final twist, according to Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague.
Barcelona have seen three bids for the Brazilian playmaker rejected out of hand by Liverpool as the Premier League side insist that their star asset is not for sale. Things took a rather bizarre turn following the rejection of the third bid, when it was reported that Barcelona had given Liverpool until 7 pm on Sunday evening to accept the offer (the same offer that had already been rejected) or they would walk away from the table (the same table that Liverpool weren’t even acknowledging).
That ‘deadline’ (assuming it was such) has now passed and with even Spanish media such as Mundo Deportivo backtracking in their confidence of a deal being struck, Balague has claimed that Barca will continue in their pursuit of Jean-Michael Seri and Ousmane Dembele – but will now look to sign Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel di Maria as an alternative to Coutinho.
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 21, 2017
Di Maria has impressed at PSG since joining from Manchester United in 2015, but with FFP a concern following the €222m arrival of Neymar in the summer, they may look to cash in on the Argentine winger to alleviate some of that potential danger.
Whether Barcelona have in fact given up on Coutinho remains to be seen, as the prospect of a fourth bid is still there for them (however successful/unsuccessful they think that might be) but with just ten days of the transfer remainng, they will have to move on to other targets if, as looks the case right now, Liverpool refuse to budge from their stance on Coutinho.